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Step Forward: Fight Stigma

Nearly half of all Australians live with a chronic condition. Why is there one we still can’t accept?
We created the narrative of HIV. We can change the narrative of HIV. 

Campaign Overview 

Step Forward: Fight Stigma was developed to increase awareness of stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV whilst also normalising HIV as a chronic health condition (a condition that is long lasting that can impact quality of life). Stigma and discrimination have been recognised as major barriers to accessing health services and adhering to treatment for some time, leading to less desirable health outcomes and quality of life. Breaking the cycle of stigma and discrimination is crucial to support good health and wellbeing of people living with HIV. 


Meet Diane and Rhys 

Diane (portrait image) Diane Lloyd has been part of the Peer Based Harm Reduction WA team since 2009 as a Community Development Worker. She is currently the staff representative for AIVL (Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League) and sits on the Board of NAPWHA (National Association of People with HIV/AIDS) and Femfatales, a sub group of NAPWHA for Women Living with HIV. Her presentation at the 2019 Australasian HIV&AIDS Conference held in Perth on 17-19 September, led with the title: Women and HIV – Why are women still invisible?   


Rhys (portrait image) Rhys Ross is a HIV Peer Educator for WAAC. He is a compassionate and dedicated HIV Support Worker with experience providing essential care and support to individuals living with HIV. Passionate about empowering and improving the lives of those affected by HIV through comprehensive support services. Skilled in fostering a safe and inclusive environment, promoting education, and advocating for positive living. Committed to making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and the broader community. 

How to challenge stigma and discrimination


The HIV landscape has changed dramatically since the 80s, yet we continue to hold onto outdated and incorrect perceptions. This needs to change. To make a start, scroll down to learn some updated facts about HIV.


People who live with HIV are the experts of their own experiences. Listen and wholeheartedly accept the stories they share.

Speak up

It takes courage to speak up against negative and hurtful perceptions and comments, however, to create change, we must break the cycle of stigma. Giving correct information allows people to increase their awareness and break down ignorance.


There are many ways to support the HIV positive community; things such as sharing correct information and messages, donating to community organisations or charities, being visible (wear a red pin, put up posters, re-share posts on social media) and volunteering your time.


We as humans have created the shame and fear attached to HIV and we can change that narrative. 


Quick Facts

U=U (image tile) Life Expectancy (image tile) PrEP (tile image)
PEP (tile image) PLHIV (tile image) HIV/AIDS (tile image)


Step forward this World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held annually on December 1 each year to raise awareness around HIV/AIDS, and to help fight stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. This year, WAAC will be taking over Forrest Place for our annual Morning Breakfast, as well as hosting community stalls where you can come down, learn more about local LGBTIQA+ organisations, participate in giveaways and activities, and watch some short films centred on HIV and the LGBTIQA+ experience. If you would like to step forward and show your support, please read more about our events below.

World AIDS Day - Remembrance Sundowner

Prior to the official World AIDS Day celebrations, we are hosting an evening sundowner on November 29 at Robertson Park to honour and pay our respect to those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.

This is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come since the start of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, remember those we have lost, and to look at just how far we have come.

Light refreshments will be provided, as well as some short speeches by members of the community and staff.

When: November 29, 6-7pm
Where: Robertson Park, AIDS memorial
RSVP: Please register your interest at the link here

World AIDS Day - Breakfast

Each year WAAC host our Breakfast for members of the community, people living with HIV, stakeholders and anyone who wishes to show their support, so please come and enjoy a fully catered breakfast, and listen to speeches given by Community Representative Angela Hellewell, Senator Dean Smith, Senator Louise Pratt, U.S. Consul General Siriana Nair, Hon. Peter Foster, and our new CEO Dr. Daniel Vujcich.

This is a free event, but please make sure to register below so we can cater to any dietary requirements.

When: December 1, 8-9am
Where: Forrest Place (near the cactus statue)
RSVP: Please register your interest at the link here.

World AIDS Day - Community Stalls

This year, WAAC will be taking over Forrest Place to acknowledge World AIDS Day and the important work that has been happening in the HIV sector and highlight the continuous progress towards virtual elimination. This is an opportunity to learn more about your local organisations, show your support, and get involved.

When: December 1, 8:30-11:30am
Where: Forrest Place (near the cactus statue)

If you are an organisation or community group who are interested in hosting a stall, please contact [email protected] for more information.

Western Australia Museum - AIDS Memorial Quilt

This World AIDS Day, the Western Australia Museum will be displaying the historically and culturally significant AIDS memorial quilt, a piece commemorating the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS and honouring those that have been lost to the epidemic. This piece will be on display from the 1st-3rd of December and will be free to view.

We highly encourage anyone who is able to come and view this piece of our shared history.

When: December 1-3
Where: Western Australia Museum (Boola Bardip)

Western Australia Museum - In Conversation

In Conversation’s latest instalment offers a thought-provoking exchange spanning generations, delving into the diverse life journeys of individuals living with HIV. In collaboration with WAAC, this event aligns with the exhibition of the WA AIDS Quilt and the Pride WA community showcase.

Join us for a compelling discussion shedding light on the distinctive narratives of those openly embracing their HIV-positive status and what this has meant historically and in today’s world.

In Conversation presents passionate and thought-provoking public dialogues that tackle big issues and difficult questions featuring diverse perspectives and experiences. Held monthly at the WA Museum Boola Bardip, in 2023 In Conversation will take different forms such as facilitated panel discussions, deep dive Q&As, performance lectures, screenings and more, covering a broad range of topics and ideas. For these monthly events, the Museum collaborates with a dynamic variety of presenting partners, co-curators and speakers, with additional special events featuring throughout the year. Join us as we explore big concepts of challenging and contended natures, led by some of WA’s most brilliant minds.

When: December 2, 2-4pm (2pm doors open, 2:30pm conversation starts)
Where: Western Australia Museum (Boola Bardip)
Tickets and Information: please see the link here.


Campaign Resources 

These resources are free for your agency to download and use. If you have any questions or would like professionally printed posters, please contact at [email protected]. We also encourage you to visit our social media platforms and share WAAC’s campaign content directly. For a full suite of resources, please click here.

Photography, filming and editing by Alex Soares. View their work here.


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